February 14, 2011

Surviving V-Day

Hello, World!

Today is Valentine's Day!

Now I realize that not everyone has positive feelings toward this particular day, but that is in part what today's post is about. Today we are going to talk about how to survive Valentine's Day as a post-graduate. So we're going to focus on two common situations for post-grads to be in: single, and/or poor...


Being Single in a World Full of Couples:
If you are part of the single crowd (and not particularly by choice) then you know there is almost nothing more annoying than a holiday that has the sole purpose of reminding you constantly that you belong to that single crowd. Between the barrage of lovey-dovey songs on the radio, PDAs, the entire aisles in stores devoted to the colour red, pink, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, it can be an emotionally exhausting time. But, as a single girl here, I am here to tell you that it is possible to survive and even enjoy this holiday with these suggestions:

1. Don't Try to Be a Couple: A lot of people seem to try and go for the quick fix and simply become un-single for Valentine's Day. You don't need to hook-up with somebody to feel loved, so don't waste your day (or, uh, night) trying to fill that void of love with some random person you met at the bar or wherever people go to meet randoms these days.

2. Find Somebody to Love: I know I said that you shouldn't try and couple up just for the sake of being a couple for the day, but this point is different and not to be confused with 'Don't Try to Be a Couple'. While it's important to remember that you don't need to find someone to be with to fit in, it's also important to remember that Love isn't just about couples. You can choose to use this day to let your family and friends know how much they really mean to you. Don't worry, I'm not suggesting you have to send flowers and chocolates to all your Facebook friends, but you may have some people in your life who would Love to get a phone call from you to let them know you were thinking of them and wondering how they are. This is also a great day to hang out with other single friends. Whether you want to play a board game, watch a movie, or even go out and have a fancy "romantic" dinner with a group of your best single friends. Sometimes we get too busy with the everyday business of life, it's important to take some time to connect with those that you care about most.

3. Do "Single" Things: Today is the perfect day to pamper yourself a little, after all, you deserve it! Get your nails done, dye your hair, watch your favourite movie with a big bowl of popcorn... whatever makes you feel special. Think of it this way, all those couples are going to be busy this evening having dinner, going to the movies, and doing romantic couple-y things. Which means that all those unromantic avenues are probably less crowded with couples. Perfect time to hit up the library, gym, help out with your local soup kitchen, go ice fishing... whatever you decide, and you don't have to worry if it's something that nobody else wants to do, because you're single! And don't forget that all that chocolate is going to end up going on sale soon, take advantage of the sales to buy yourself your favourite box of chocolates at a reduced rate!

Valentine's Day for Cheap
For some of you post-graduates you may find yourself with a significant other (as the cliche goes) you face a whole new set of problems in figuring out how to survive Valentine's Day. With all the commercialism these days it can be expensive to even do the traditional sending of flowers and chocolates. With these ideas though you and your special someone can enjoy a less expensive Valentine's Day.

1. Stay In: There is something special and romantic about a home-cooked meal eaten in candlelight and then cuddling up on the couch and watching your favourite romantic comedy. You can spend an evening baking cookies together, playing a favourite board game, or sharing favourite memories from when you first started dating.

2. Go Out: Dinner at a fancy restaurant can get expensive, and even a night at the movies for two with popcorn and drinks ends up being pretty expensive. Skip the traditional dinner and a movie night for something that better fits your budget. Opt for something like a romantic walk in the park in the moonlight, or skating at an outdoor rink. Even going for a drive can turn into a romantic venture when you bring along your own meaningful songs and a picnic dinner for when you reach wherever your final destination happens to be (somewhere overlooking the city, a body of water, or where you can see the stars all tend to be winners).

3. Get Creative: If you are looking for gifts other than flowers and chocolates, you might have to start looking at places other than Walmart. Gifts are best when they are from the heart, as anyone will tell you, and you can rarely find items from the heart in mass-produced numbers lining the shelves of the nearby department stores. Write a poem, frame a favourite photo of the two of you, or even create a "coupon" booklet with vouchers for things like a romantic dinner in, a car wash, free hugs, etc. Imperfect Homemaking has some neat ideas for inexpensive date ideas like making a fondue, playing hide 'n' seek, or muting a rented foreign film and making up your own dialog for the characters.

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